Johan Cruyff Institute 2017 graduation ceremonies, more international than ever

A total of 132 students with 27 different nationalities received their diplomas in Barcelona and Amsterdam, as new graduates of Johan Cruyff Institute 2017

The last days of June are noted in the diaries of the teachers, students and staff of the Johan Cruyff Institute as an important turning point. It is a time for graduations and reaping the harvest of an academic course full of learning, new experiences and, above all, enthusiasm. “The time has come to leave the comfort and warmth of the classrooms and run out onto the pitch”, said Ferrán Capell, the delegate of the Master in Sport Management (blended version) in Barcelona, reminding his colleagues that the graduation ceremony is much more than just the collection of a diploma. And he is right.

A total of 132 students went personally to collect their diplomas this year, in Amsterdam and in Barcelona. The emblematic Ajax stadium, the Amsterdam Arena, was the chosen venue for the graduation of Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam, while the Antiga Fàbrica, Estrella Damm’s facilities in Barcelona, was where the party was held for the on-campus and blended learning students in Barcelona, and the online community. Most, but not all, of this year’s students were there: some will graduate in September and, some others will continue adding credits to those already achieved to convert courses and postgraduates into master’s degrees, and to continue their training.

Johan Cruyff Institute 2017 graduation ceremonies, more international than ever

Graduation Ceremony in Amsterdam

“I’m proud to be with you another year and see all these happy faces”, said Johan Cruyff Institute’s director Mariel Koerhuis to the new graduates. From now on, you are not only alumni of this institution, but ambassadors of Johan Cruyff Institute. Stay true to your values and I encourage you to continue transmitting them to honor the legacy of Johan Cruyff”.

Mariel Koerhuis also highlighted in her speech the growth that the institution has undergone in the last year, not only at the level of international representation, but also as a result of the agreement with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) to jointly deliver the Master in Sport Management in Barcelona. “The growth of Johan Cruyff Institute in its 18 years of existence has been considerable and is a challenge that fills us with satisfaction. We currently have a presence in the Netherlands, with five vocational training centers and three Johan Cruyff Academies with official university degrees, as well as five Johan Cruyff Institutes worldwide offering postgraduate and master’s programs. This year our number of international agents has also grown in most Latin American countries and we are prepared to continue growing in a new world in which Asian countries and the east coast of the Latin American continent will have a very important influence at the business level and, therefore, also in the management of sport. All this without forgetting new projects that we are already preparing in Nigeria and Kenya, which we will be able to inform you about soon”.

Johan Cruyff Institute 2017 graduation ceremonies, more international than ever

Mariël Koerhuis, manager of Johan Cruyff Institute, and Diego Prior, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the UAB

Mariel recalled that “the collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has been the beginning of a new phase for Johan Cruyff Institute”, before she gave the floor to one of its representatives, the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies of the UAB, Dr. Diego Prior. “Today we have a clear example that collaboration between different institutions is very fruitful. This Master demonstrates that. When two strong, powerful and serious institutions come together, the product is of very high quality”, he said. And addressing the students specifically, Dr. Prior said was convinced that, “You will make us proud of the work we have done. Use that strength and enthusiasm that you have put into your formative stage to embark on your career and demonstrate that you are capable of doing it … and of doing it very well”.

The students from both Amsterdam and Barcelona also received a few words from Jordi Cruyff, whose commitments as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv prevented him from attending either of the ceremonies. His good wishes came via video: “I’m sorry I can’t be there with you today on such an important day, the day you’ve finished your studies. I just want to tell you that we are very proud of this moment which also means, for us, having a new generation with whom, between us all, we can try to improve our sporting world, the world of sport that we are so passionate about. I wish you lots of luck. My father’s advice at such a time would be that you remain connected, that you always stay together because, in the end, we won’t get anywhere alone, we have to be together to be more successful. Enjoy the party and thank you very much for everything!”

And they did. About 225 people enjoyed the party at the Antiga Fàbrica Damm in Barcelona, and approximately 300 celebrated at the Amsterdam Arena in the Dutch capital. Here we share some of the testimonies from students regarding their experience with us.

Vincent Elsing (Master in Coaching, Amsterdam): “On the Master in Coaching I have learned to be more aware of my feelings and be better connected to them. I am now able to use these feelings as an intuitive compass when I am training and also use this ability to encourage my colleagues to do the same”.

Johan Cruyff Institute 2017 graduation ceremonies, more international than ever

Demi Schreuder (Master in Sport Management, Amsterdam): “Before starting the Master, I was hoping to gain new insights into sport management, but in fact, I learned a lot about myself. This study program is a personal journey full of new life experiences”.

Àlex Fité (Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management, on campus, Barcelona): “I have felt I was one of Johan Cruyff Institute team from day one. I want to thank you for making me see that, with passion, work, effort and always counting on others, any sport project is possible”.

Enrique Avellán (Master in Sport Management, online): “We are committed to expanding his vision and spreading his legacy. Wherever we are in the world, may our results and professionalism demonstrate that we have come from Johan Cruyff Institute”.

Carolina Tulio Abu-Izze (Postgraduate in Sport Management Online): “This is an educational institution formed by a team of teachers, coordinators and tutors who, beyond their knowledge of the market, transmit a great passion for sport and for what they do. The scholarship they gave me when they heard my story changed my life and has opened many doors for me. It has been a pleasure”.

Edgar Romero (Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management, on campus Barcelona): “The individual work experiences, the academic training of each student and the diversity of cultures and countries have greatly enriched my way along this exciting journey. The synergy with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has enabled this extremely innovative study program to be developed to a very high level”.

Johan Cruyff Institute 2017 graduation ceremonies, more international than ever

Dream Cheers were performing during the graduation in Barcelona


Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam uses a rich learning environment that fosters educational tools based on a student interaction model. We aim for a mix of students from sports and business sectors, which also enables students to share their unique experiences and learn from each other. Through ‘Cruyffian’ teaching methods the students will engage actively in creative challenges that require effort, commitment and intuitive thinking. Visit the web pages to find out more about these programs, which we deliver in English:

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